Keke Palmer hasn’t been shy about the difficulties of breast-feeding, but she’s also learning to not worry about what other people think.
“I think I carry a lot of shame sometimes when I’m in public spaces,” Palmer, 30, said of breast-feeding during the Tuesday, September 19, episode of her “Baby, This Is Keke Palmer” podcast. “I don’t want to make other people uncomfortable and I’ve had to really kind of come around to, like, not worrying about that.”
Palmer admitted that she’s felt self-conscious while feeding or pumping for her 6-month-old son, Leodis, but she’s been trying to ignore those emotions.
“It’s a really bad feeling when you feel that you’re embarrassing somebody that you’re with or you’re being an embarrassment in public. So, I’ve had to kind of just push that to the side,” she explained to guest Janelle Monáe. “And then it’s been similar with the pumping. And I know people are trying to be helpful, but I’ve been pumping in public, and it’s like, ‘It is what it is, motherf–kers.’”
Monáe, for her part, assured Palmer that people are “getting free” by seeing her feed her baby on her own terms. “You say, ‘You don’t tell me what to do with my body. You don’t tell me how to act as a mother. You don’t define that. I define that,’” Monáe, 37, declared. “And that is what I’m saying too.”
Earlier this year, Palmer spoke out after she faced “breast milk discrimination” at the Houston airport, claiming that TSA officers threatened to throw out her supply. “I should’ve popped my tit out right then because the discretion and comfort of pumping is thwarted with threats to throw out over 16oz my babies food?!?!!!” she tweeted in July. “Why is that not a crime?? I’M A MOTHER for crying out loud 😩😢.”
Palmer welcomed Leodis with boyfriend Darius Jackson in February after two years of dating. Rumors later swirled that the duo split after Jackson, 29, mom-shamed Palmer for her choice of outfit at an Usher concert she attended in July. One month later, Palmer collaborated with Usher, 44, on the music video for his song “Boyfriend.” At one point in the clip, Palmer teased, “I’m a mother, after all.”
In August, an insider exclusively told Us Weekly that Palmer and Jackson’s relationship status was “complicated” after the Usher drama. “It’s their own lives. Those close to them hope they can work things out for the sake of themselves and their child,” the source said at the time. “They have to resolve things on their own.”